Tuesday, February 08, 2022

Piper PA-32-300 Cherokee Six, N1215H: Accident occurred January 31, 2022 - New Providence Island, Bahamas

Federal Aviation Administration/ International Field Office; Miami, Florida

Aircraft experienced engine issues shortly after takeoff and attempted to return to Nassau-Lynden Pindling International Airport but crashed in the water.

Staniel Cay Yacht Club Inc

Date: 31-JAN-22
Time: 15:15:00Z
Regis#: N1215H
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA32
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: MINOR
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Country: BAHAMAS

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — A pilot was rescued from waters off western New Providence yesterday after the small aircraft he was piloting crashed shortly after takeoff from Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA).

The pilot, a 32-year-old Bahamian, was taken to hospital for medical attention yesterday afternoon, though officials said he was in “overall good health”.

The Air Accident Investigation Authority (AAIA) said the Piper Cherokee N1215H departed LPIA around 10am and was en route to Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport when the pilot advised of an engine failure.

He attempted to return to the airport, but crashed in waters approximately nine miles west of the island.

Responding Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) marines successfully rescued him sometime later.

The six-seater, single-engine aircraft is registered to the Staniel Cay Yacht Club Incorporated based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The club became the registered owner on November 9, 2021.

When contacted, Staniel Cay Yacht Club Proprietor David Hocher said he wished to respect the privacy of the Bahamian pilot, but noted that he had spoken to him and his family and was thankful that he was safe, though notably shaken from the incident.


  1. What is it about engine failure 'shortly after departure,' .... are there indicators doing preflight and run-up that are ignored??

    1. Typical run-up isn't long enough duration for every degrading condition to start happening. Bound to see a few aircraft have engine issues right after takeoff when something was just about ready to let go, clog up, or change during sustained thermal rise and stress at full power.

    2. Can have good fuel in the lines, but bad/wrong/no fuel coming next from the tanks.

  2. Run-ups are usually at 65%-75% of full power whereas takeoff should be full power. I've seen some impatient pilots do a very quick run-up; just going thru the checklist rather than really listen/look for issues. It might be an issue that wouldn't show up in these situations. I have a Cherokee that once lost partial power about half-way down the runway. It did that second time then never again. I suspect it was the mixture setting under specific pressure/temp conditions, but haven't experienced it since.

  3. I recall an old study that the most common time for power failure in piston powered aircraft is at the first power reduction after takeoff.

    1. In my study, the most common time for power failure is shortly before the crash. ;)

      But seriously, what you said is the reason why pilots should never make any throttle, mixture, or prop changes below 1000 AGL.

  4. I would suspect undetectable water in the fuel tanks the pilot cannot detect during the preflight.